The Manatee

Author: Nancy Bruff
Published: 1949

The Manatee, priced at $0.25, is Harlequin’s first book, according to Torstar, which owns the publisher. It tells the “strange loves of a seaman,” Jabez Folger, whose terrible experience on a whaling voyage leads him to corrupt his bride, Piety, “the gentle Quaker girl from Martha’s Vineyard.” Harlequin, established in 1949, at first offers a range of genres for both male and female readers and doesn’t narrow its focus to romance novels until the end of the 1950s.
 
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